BERKELEY – After one Girl Scout saw a homeless person during a family trip to Philadelphia, her troop decided to make helping local homeless people a mission this year.
They reached out to an organization called Haven: Beat the Streets, which helps homeless people in Ocean County as well as Atlantic County. This group said an age-appropriate thing the 9-year-olds could do was collect items for the homeless from their school.
Since Troop 247 has girls in Beachwood, Pine Beach, H&M Potter, and Clara B. Worth elementary schools, boxes for donations were set up at each one. The girls and the principals worked together to advertise the donation drives. Letters or e-mails were sent home to parents. The girls spoke about their mission on the morning announcements, and in one case even went classroom to classroom to pitch their project.
At the end of a several-week donation period, four overflowing boxes of donations were collected. The girls had specifically asked for socks and gloves for the homeless, since they go through a lot of them. They were also collecting coloring books and crayons, for the homeless children to have something to do when they are placed in temporary housing. The girls received all that and more. Families donated all those items in addition to non-perishable food, winter coats in good condition, bedding, and toys.
Troop 247 thanks everyone who contributed.